Tag Archives: Poland

Day 12 – Browar Wososz and Humalove Brewing – Pukki

Well folks, we are half-way through this year’s advent calendar. It’s been a pretty good one this year to be honest. The beers have been good, the styles interesting and the locations pretty spread out. I’ve really been enjoying the first half and looking forward for the second.

Today’s beer is a collaboration between a polish brewery, Browar Wasoz, and a Finnish brewery, Humalove Brewing. It’s a smoked “grodziskie” beer with spruce coming in at a whopping 3% ABV. Talk about a light beer.

The first brewery in this collaboration is Browar Wasoz, located in Konopiska, Poland. Founded in 1994 as one of the first modern small brewhouses, this brewery has grown in brewing capacity since it’s founding. While they did run into some difficulty along their journey causing an interruption in their brewing, in June of 2014 they ramped things back up with an even bigger capacity. Currently they have a 35hl brewhouse and 6 fermentation tanks capable of taking 70hl each. They also have 15 lagering tanks, each with a 70hl capacity and 2 other tanks with 40hl capacity each. Needless to say, they’ve got room for a lot of beer. They currently brew 12 different beers ranging from a classic Pils to a gooseberry sour.

This space has allowed for them to collaborate and offer space to other breweries who may be in need. This is something they’ve done with this beer, working with Finnish brewery Humalove, to create our special advent calendar beer.

Humalove is a very small brewery located in Helsinki, Finland.  Currently they only produce two beers, an 80 IBU IPA called “First Love” and a Lingonberry Rye Ale coming in at 60IBU. Besides the fact that they don’t have a set brewery and tend to brew at other breweries (hence the collaboration) there isn’t much more detail than that about them. So, let’s get to the beer.

Grodziskie is a historical polish style of beer that is made from oak-smoked wheat malts. This style is unique to Poland and is typically a very clear golden colour with a very low alcohol content. Grodziskie was brewed from wheat malt that was dried by circulating oak smoke through the grains. The smokiness of the grain and the mineral profile of the water used to brew the beverage gave the style its characteristic flavor. Breweries will tend to use whatever local hop they are able to source. The beer was originally produced by brewers in the town of Grodzisk Wielkopolski in the 14th or 15th century. A brewers’ guild was established to maintain high quality standards and the product developed a good reputation in the surrounding cities and neighboring countries. At the peak of its fame, it was exported to 37 countries and was regarded as an exceptionally good beer.

This one has also had the addition of spruce, one of my favorite things to play around with in beer, and so I’m excited to see how this turned out. Let’s get to it.

Appearance – Pours a slightly hazy golden with a white head that fades quickly.
Smell – Smells of smoked wood with some notes of citrus zest.
Taste – Tastes lightly smoked with a subtle hint of citrus fruit and some very subtle piney notes from the spruce.
Mouth feel – Light body, light carbonation, smoky all the way through with a subtle bitter/smoky finish.
Overall – First time trying this style. First the description of it to a T. Light, smoky, crisp.
Do I like it?
– I’m don’t always like smoky beers if the smoke is overpowering. I’ve had some rauchbiers that taste like inhaling a campfire. The subtleness of this beer is quite refreshing and I enjoyed it.

 

 

Day 9 – Fabryka Piwa – Deep Space

So, sleep deprivation is a real thing. I’m sure those of you who have had children know that. I’m starting to experience it first hand and I certainly do not enjoy it. That said, I do enjoy beer, and glad that’s an exciting thing making this sleep deprived time a little more fun.

Yesterday’s beer was not that enjoyable, but with today’s I hope we turn that around. Today we have a beer from Fabryka Piwa in Poland called Deep Space.

Fabryka Piwa was founded by Wojciech Warzyszyński and Marcin Krzystanek. It is located in Czestochowa, Poland.  Originally they brewed out of a very small restaurant called “Browar Marysia” having a capacity of 5hl, because they wanted to slowly enter the market and make their presence known to see what the response would be to the beers they were brewing.

As the response was well received, they decided to look at refitting and opening a bigger space in an old Cisctercian brewery. They’ve been working on this since September 2014. The traditions of brewing in Szczyrzyc date back several centuries. The old brewery was nationalized at the time of the communist regime and then returned into the hands of the monks when the regime fell. Unfavorable market trends led to his downfall. The condition of the brewery was so bad that it was decided to replace the old brewery and replace it with new equipment and more tanks.

While they had initially wanted to brew 8 beers when they opened the new brewery in 2015, they’ve now reached the point where they are brewing 16 different brews. The brewery, despite its name meaning Factory Beer, focuses on high quality crafted beers.

Stouts are a dark beer made using roasted malts or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.  Traditionally the term stout was used to describe the strongest (most alcoholic) porters, typically around 7-8%, produced by a brewery.  The reason for the name ‘stout’ was because these strong porters were often sold in stouter bottles than the standard porters.  This gave them the nickname ‘stout’ which eventually became the term used to describe the style of beer.

There are numerous styles of stouts ranging from Dry Stouts, to Porters, and Oyster stouts and my favorite Imperial Stouts.  The specific stout style, Foreign Extra Stout, were stronger stouts than those typically brewed for today’s market. Not quite getting to the Imperial Stout ABV but ranging in the 6.3-8% range. They have a history stretching back to the 18th century when they were more heavily hopped versions of stronger export stouts. Hops, of course, act as an excellent preservative and allow the beer to keep as it travels. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (originally, West India Porter, later Foreign Extra Double Stout) was first brewed in 1801 per Guinness. It was brewed with extra hops to give it a distinctive taste and a longer shelf life.

The main difference between a Foreign Extra Stout and a domestic stout is the hop content and maturation of the beer. Let’s get to it.

 

Appearance – Black as space itself with a whisp of tan head.
Smell – Smells of deep rich chocolate, cherries, subtle coffee, and a distinct aroma of alcohol warmth.
Taste – Has a good rich malty backbone with a nice subtle hop bitterness that works with the roasted characteristic and subtle coffee/chocolate of the malt. Subtle cherry and dark fruit after notes.
Mouth feel – Medium-Full bodied with a light carbonation.
Overall – A very good stout. Fits the category with the extra hop bitterness and full rich flavour. Reminds me a bit of some other stouts I’ve had recently.
Do I like it?
– Yes, this was quite nice. I found the aroma to be reminiscent of an Imperial Stout. The taste and beer is more of a toned-down version and falls in between a standard stout and an imperial one. Very nice and good flavours.